“Proponents of Obamacare claim that it will simultaneously provide millions of Americans with health insurance and reduce the budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. Yet Obamacare’s proclaimed budgetary discipline rests on unlikely assumptions and budget gimmicks—none worse than the CLASS Act, a national long-term-care insurance program. CLASS is essentially a Ponzi scheme that will run initial surpluses followed by massive deficits—virtually guaranteeing program bankruptcy or, more likely, massive taxpayer bailouts. The surest way to avoid this fate is to repeal the program—preferably before it enrolls participants on January 1, 2011. The Heritage Foundation’s Brian M. Riedl and Visiting Fellow James Capretta explain why repeal is the right action for Congress to take.”

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ObamaCare will raise costs for existing insurance policies. The state of Arizona recently notified employees that their costs will go up as a result of the new law. “The Department of Administration cited federal health reform as the reason the state’s health plans will carry ‘greater expenses and higher premiums for members,’ according to a June 30 letter sent to about 135,000 state and university employees and their dependents.”

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“A tax is when the government takes money from individuals, puts it in the Treasury, and plans to spend it. With the health-insurance mandate, the government is not taking money from private individuals; rather, it is commanding them to give their money to another private entity, not to the Treasury. If individuals don’t obey the mandate, they pay a penalty to the Treasury. But penalties aren’t taxes. The mandate is legally separate from the penalty.”

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“[A]lthough the PPACA adds a number of significant elements to the U.S. health care system (in particular, the exchanges), it’s primarily an entrenchment and expansion of the existing system. Given the failures of that system, though, that presents a serious problem.”

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“We find that the reform’s mandate will raise overall costs, and that the structure of the mandate and tax credit will raise effective marginal tax rates on small business growth and expansions. In addition, the burdensome and intrusive 1099 reporting requirements will burden firms, alter the customer relationships in the small business market, and impose potential strains on employee relations in the small business sector.”

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“Does President Obama have any idea what’s in his own health-care reform law? Since he signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a bit more than 100 days ago, the president has given a number of speeches and interviews in which he continues to say things that, well, just aren’t so. Just last Friday, he told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the law ‘not only makes sure everybody has access to coverage but is reducing costs.’ Wrong on both counts.”

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ObamaCare’s regulations dictating the spending levels of insurance companies may result in them ending their disease management programs, where insurance companies provide free counseling to chronically ill enrollees. “These phone-based programs have sparked debate, with critics claiming there is little evidence that they actually work, and proponents — including many insurance companies — lauding them as precisely the sort of prevention-oriented approach needed to fix the health-care system. That debate has gained new salience because of a key requirement of the sweeping health-care overhaul enacted by Congress this year.”

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Nationally, over half of those newly insured by ObamaCare will be added to Medicaid. This government-run program reimburses doctors at such low rates, that many providers refuse to treat enrollees. “The Kentucky Hospital Association said in a report on Monday that Kentucky hospitals will lose $1.2 billion in revenues in the next 10 years because of health care reform. Because Kentucky has one of the lowest income levels in the nation, the majority of uninsured Kentuckians will be covered under Medicaid rather than private health insurance, leaving the state with 25 percent of its population on Medicaid, the report said. Medicaid is jointly financed by federal and state tax dollars.”

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“[S]pending on health care is clearly the most important source of the spending explosion. Remember that these data came out after Obamacare was passed. Thus, Obamacare does not address the explosive health care spending problem, which will come as no surprise to its critics, but is clearly contrary to the claims of those who supported it. Moreover, to the extent that Obamacare slowed growth in Medicare it more than offset this with new entitlements, making controlling health care spending even more difficult now. The data are clear: In order to control government spending, you have to start over on health care reform. Whether you call that “repeal and replace” or “repeal and reduce (the deficit)” the message is the same.”

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“So to sum up: McCain accurately dings Obama for being a tax-raiser. Obama responds by reiterating tax pledges he wouldn’t keep, while specifically (and ‘misleadingly’) attacking McCain for raising taxes with his health care plan. The ruse works–for most of the campaign, opinion polls showed that more people believed McCain was likely to raise taxes than Obama. Then, after the election, when Obama’s successfully passed health care plan imposes a new tax, he denies this fact in literally absolutist terms, until his administration is challenged to defend it in court. It’s breathtaking. And not in the good way.”

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